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New Stock Coverage: Nike, Inc. Just Keeps on Doing It

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Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

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It was 1986 all over again on Wall Street, where a Shanghai Surprise swiftly led to a Manic Monday. A steep slide in Chinese equities sent the Dow (^DJI) down 244 points at its depths and, while shares eventually recovered somewhat, the blue chip index still ended off by triple-digits.

No More Tears maker Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) bucked a brutal tape to gain 1.69%, but an unloved Allergan (AGN) was crying a river as it tumbled an S&P 500 (^GSPC)-worst 11.55% amid concerns over its chronic dry eye treatment.

Financials fared worst of all. Citigroup (C) fell 3.05%, its stock now a steal without any help from The Thief of Baghdad. Morgan Stanley (MS), meanwhile, horrified sticklers for grammar when it said, "This is a historic day," yet it can scarcely afford to buy a consonant after tumbling 2.05%.

First Solar (FSLR) scored a broker boost and Sun Microsystems owner Oracle (ORCL), which nosedived 9.26% on Friday's summer solstice, recovered from its Zero Dark Thirty hour to trade higher on a cloud-computing agreement with Microsoft (MSFT).

Today in economics, May new home sales and June consumer confidence are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, Apollo Group (APOL), Barnes & Noble (BKS), Carnival Corporation (CCL), Lennar (LEN), Smith & Wesson (SWHC), and Walgreen (WAG) are all due to announce earnings.

Apparel: Deutsche Bank begins Buys on Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (KORS), Ralph Lauren Corp (RL), and VF Corp (VFC).

Athletic Apparel: Nike, Inc. (NKE) is assigned a Buy at Deutsche Bank, which has Holds on Lululemon Athletica inc. (LULU) and Under Armour Inc (UA).

Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BDX): Shares are begun with a Buy recommendation and $106.50 price objective at ISI Group, which says its portfolio of medical devices can ultimately propel mid single digit top-line growth.

Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc (HAWK): Jefferies has a Buy on HAWK.

Francesca's Holdings Corp (FRAN): William Blair rates FRAN a fresh Outperform.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG): The company is covered at Equal Weight by First Analysis.

Liberty Global PLC (LBTYA): Macquarie launches the stock at an Outperform.

Mast Therapeutics Inc (MAST): Shares are picked up at Overweight by Piper Jaffray.

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (MACK): Mizuho has a Buy rating and $12 target price on a stock it says has five upcoming catalysts from Phase II and Phase III studies.

Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NWL): The stock is a new Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN): Maxim Group starts the upscale retailer with a Buy and $70 target amid impressive square footage growth.

Synthetic Biologics Inc (SYN): Ascendiant Capital Markets covers the small cap stock at a Buy, assigning a $2.25 target price. Its oral beta-lactamase enzyme (SYN-004) to treat C. difficile shows promise.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Lam Research Corporation Has Bears on the Run and Stock Downgrades: Netflix, Inc. Now Swimming Upstream.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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